99 Days Without…Facebook?

Are you addicted? Am I? I am not entirely sure. I am a 1-2 times a day Facebook user. I usually check in the morning when I post my blog, and then at night before bed. I will be completely honest that other than posting my blog and a random quote or idea here or there, that I am more of a voyeuristic Facebook user. I like to see photos of friends, connect with folks from my childhood (some… not all), and generally keep up with friends. I am not one to care about whether you made it to the bathroom that day or all the endless rants and crap about your day. I like to find information that adds to my life rather than bores me to death. Pictures help. They help a lot. So if you are posting photos I am generally going to look at them.

So when I came across this Christian Science Monitor article regarding a campaign to not use Facebook for 99 days, I was quasi interested. Could I do it? Probably not. Would it be good for me to disconnect? Most definitely. Do I have the strength in me to do it? Maybe. I am not sure. I like staying connected in my own non-consumed way. So then you might say, “So why would it be hard for you to disengage for 99 days?” I like knowing what is happening. I like seeing the newborn baby pictures of a good friend that lives on the other side of the world. I like being inspired. Yes, there is a lot of junk I want to block and a lot of stuff I couldn’t give a shit about, but could I disconnect for three months? I am not sure.

Is it sad that I feel that way? Maybe. Or maybe I am a slight introvert and a slight extrovert and Facebook allows me to decide HOW I want to engage. How often and in what ways. The initiative is called, “99 Days of Freedom.” I do like the sound of that. I am truly curious about the question in the article: “How do you feel when you don’t use Facebook?” I think there is only one way to tell. Would you like to join me and see, or are you just as much addicted that it will be hard to not log in? The only way I can imagine trying is to delete your account, and remove all history of your online Facebook data. Otherwise, how would you stop yourself from logging in?

It looks like at the time of the article, 17,000 people had signed up for the 99 Days… That is a good amount. Are you going to join them?

 

Standing = 8 less lbs a year

For those of you that know me, I am a multi-tasker.

While in a meeting in a different building at work, I found two treadmill desks. How much I would love to have a treadmill desk at work. I could walk a ton and get so much done. A colleague said he had read an article about how standing at work is like running 10 marathons a year. I had to find it online.

Lately I have been struggling with sleeping on my side and my shoulders hurting in the middle of the night. The only way I have been able to get back to sleep was to stay on my back, or try sleeping on my stomach (a new feat for me)! It has made me start to think about how much I let my shoulders slump forward, or generally how I sit at my desk during the day. I have a high desk, so I can definitely work all day standing up, and yet I often do not. It is easier to sit, and then over time I realize that I am not sitting up straight, I am hunched over, and at the end of the day my shoulders, neck, and back hurt.

I am a competitive one, so if I started tracking how long I stood at my desk each day, and if the article is right, then I would be on track. Maybe not like truly running 10 marathons, but better for my health, better for my back, shoulders, and neck, and hopefully more focused on what I am working on. My problem? I am often not at my desk and usually in meetings throughout the day, so what does that mean for me? That whenever I am at my desk, I should stand? Maybe I should move my chair out of the way, so I know if I have given into the comfort of the hunch.

We are also on a mission for finally getting a king sized bed, so maybe a new mattress will help with the side sleeping dilemma, and standing all day will help my shoulders – and heck, as the article says burn 8 pounds of fat in a year.

An extra day for the spirit

It is amazing what an extra day off can do for the spirit. I feel quite rested after the three-day holiday weekend. We did plenty of little projects around the house, had yummy food, saw friends, laughed, snuggled, and decided not to go out to Sunday brunch so we could stay home and just be together. We explored re-architecting the backyard, and the adventures of planning a trip. Oh, and we ate a lot of food. A friend made the most amazing tarts with local fresh fruit, we grilled, and had a turkey dinner on Independence Day.

We saw art vendors on NW 13th Street in Portland at First Thursday. I learned that the shi-shi art scene has changed before my eyes. As we wandered around the streets of the Pearl District, what used to be relaxed, organic, and simple is different. I saw stilettos (even in neon green). I saw tattoos, and not the local-esque variety, more of the Jersey shore type. And dresses, oh man, dresses with just too much ass showing. Maybe I am getting old, but it seems as though Portland has transformed a bit and I have missed it. What made it all feel like I still loved this city is the band that marched through the street, causing all to stop and stare. This is what makes people say: “Keep Portland Weird.” This is why I love Portland.

Call us lame, but we did not venture out for fireworks on the Fourth. We stayed home, were quiet, in the sun, and together. This weekend was the zen I needed to feel like the world was back in balance. I finished two books, and started a third. I got sunkissed. I smiled a lot and was playful, and sorely addicted to Chris. Amazing what can happen with a few more hours in the weekend. A few more hours to put your feet up, or to sleep in and snuggle.

I am rested. I feel more balanced. I have new creative ideas. My spirit is just a bit higher and happier.

A good night sleep

Most all of us like to cuddle, whether we are 3 months, 3 years, 30 years. The art of the cuddle is the security of connectedness, closeness, and feeling safe. Sleep is always the necessary commodity for both babies, toddlers, and their parents. Either you have a sleeper or you do not, or the child ebbs and flows from one extreme to the other. With my sister and good friend both having babies in the last 3 months, it seems to be a current topic. Co-sleeping, cribs, naps while laying on you, not sleeping unless you are near them. There are so many different philosophies to what we should and should not do, how we treat sleep schedules, whether we should co-sleep with our babies.

I honestly do not know what I will do, or how I will handle whatever situation I am in, all I do know is that every child and every situation is different. I might have selected how I want to handle sleeping, only to find out that it will not work for my child. I obviously do not have to worry about it for the moment. However, when I saw this video of this father who goes much farther than I would to get his daughter to go to sleep, I laughed. You have to watch it entirely. It is comical, and yet you can probably relate. He is probably thinking my back is going to be fun to stretch out tomorrow.

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What do you think? Would you go that far to get your baby to stop crying and go to sleep? It does show how sometimes we just want to be close to another, safe in their arms. She goes right to sleep if she is laying on him. I can relate. Sometimes just snuggled up next to Chris on the couch I can fall right to sleep. Comfort + Safety + Trust = A good night sleep.

 

Moment by moment

It is wedding season. So far we have already been to two weddings this month. I have to confess: weddings are just not my thing. However, I have to share about a wedding I went to on Saturday.

We were in Bend, Oregon at a ranch in the beautiful countryside. There were horses out in pasture as we drove up to the ranch (the location of the wedding and reception). It was a gorgeous day, in the low 80′s, dry, and from sunrise a clear blue sky day. If I woke up as the bride, it would have been the perfect day for a wedding. Until a forest fire broke out. Yes, from what the news said, there were two forest fires, and from the sounds of it they were not controlled fires. As we were driving into the ranch, this is what we saw. I was hopeful that the bride would still have the perfect day.

Let me back up a bit. I kept having the intuition throughout the day to text the bride and tell her I was thinking about her. I know how often mother’s and mother-in-law’s and other family can jump in and think they are helping during a wedding, but are actually overwhelming the bride. Not knowing what her day would be like I was going to text her the following: “Remember your wedding is about you and [insert name to keep it anonymous], only the two of you. It is not about anyone else. Know that I am thinking about you today. Do not think for a second about anyone else.” I never sent the text. We met friends for lunch, we got iced coffee, we walked around town, I went for a run, and yet I never sent the text. Part of me did not want to bug the bride, as I knew it was a busy day, and part of me just did not follow through.

Jump back to the time of the wedding. We were told upon arrival to get something to drink and to take a seat (the ceremony was near a pond or river of water and in direct sun). The groom and groomsmen walked down the green to the front, and moments later we hear a siren, and listen as it comes closer and closer to us. It parks in front of the house where the reception is at, and the bridesmaid and bride are standing on the porch on their way down to the ceremony. A firefighter in a yellow slicker stops at the porch, and we all turn to watch. We all wonder: “will we be able to stay or will we be evacuated.” As well as: “What must the bride be thinking at this very moment.” Later I heard that the groom mentioned: “I just want to get married.” A perfect comment for the moment.

After a few folks run back and forth to us, and the bride’s father, we are told we have to evacuate, then moments later they tell us, we can do the ceremony as long as it is quick, and we must leave immediately afterwards. The precious flower girl (with a white dress and cowboy boots) runs quickly down the aisle, followed by the bridesmaids and bride, the perfect wedding happens, short and sweet and just right. All attendees are told to go to Drake Park near the Deschutes River near downtown Bend for the reception. Everyone pitches in to take something from the reception, beer, wine, flowers, food from the caterers. A bittersweet moment for the bride.

We each make our way to the park. As we leave the ranch, police and firefighters posted at different points along the way, and as we get farther and farther away from the ranch, more and more firefighters are going towards the smoke in the opposite direction that we are heading. All hands on deck, and all guests pitch in to try to recreate the reception for the bride and groom. Flowers are set out in the perfect way, folding chairs have been brought from the ceremony, all the food from the catering, framed photos of the bride and groom, the wedding cake + cupcakes, a table especially for the bride and groom. We all together decorate that portion of the park. There are even speakers and music. Such a sense of community after events that the bride and groom could do nothing about even if they tried.

My heart goes out to the bride and groom. Such a precious way to start a marriage. Flexibility, compassion, community, and adventure all on their wedding day. For all those days and months of planning that perfect day, in the end your friends and family were there as part of your celebration, regardless of location and it was perfect. You will have such a story to tell for years and years to come. Best wishes and so much love to both of you as you continue on your adventure!